Middlemarch Madness

Middlemarch Madness: Narrowing the Youngs in the Fantasy/SciFi Category

Good evening, ladies.  The time has come to bring our staggering 95+ Badass Literary Heroines down to 64, and today we’re starting with the Youngs in the SciFi/Fantasy category.  We have to bring this list of 37 names down to 16 by the end of the comment thread.  It’s going to require some tough choices, my bookish friends, but remember – only one can win. The Youngs in this category represent an impressive mix of tenacity, courage, strength and creative problem solving skills.

But Selena, you may be asking yourself, how in the name of all that tastes like cheesecake are we going to narrow down this list?  Simple.  It’s all up to you, commenters.  Put a check in the box next to up to five heroines in the list below.  The 16 heroines with the highest number of votes will move on to the official Middlemarch Madness bracket.   If there is a tie, we’ll be doing run-offs on Friday.

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

39 replies on “Middlemarch Madness: Narrowing the Youngs in the Fantasy/SciFi Category”

Agreed. The thing is, Ginny never really got a chance to shine. Clearly, she’s got the badass-ness in her, and she’s tough and smart, she just didn’t get her moment because it was all Harry, all the time. The solution? She needs her own book. Or series of books, really.

Cimorene, Lyra, Alanna, Sally, and Vicky: five women who I think were among the first feminist characters I ever encountered, and certainly the five who have left the most lasting impressions.

And at the risk of starting a fight with many (most?) of Persephone’s readers, Hermione was never even on the shortlist. I love her in the context of Harry Potter, but outside of that, she just doesn’t do much for me.

We chose three of the same, but I had to include Tiffany Aching and Sabriel. I love Cimorene, her books make me want to be a writer. And, even though I can’t tell my husband about it, I had to let Hermione go as well. She’s pretty badass, but she doesn’t inspire me.

Confession: I have never read any Terry Pratchett, thereby making me completely unfamiliar with Tiffany Aching. And Sabriel/Lirael gave me pause, but I couldn’t remember enough about why I loved them so much, and decided to vote with nostalgic love and fierce attachment instead. :)

As for Hermione, I remember never loving her more than I did in the first half of Deathly Hallows, only to get SUPER PISSED when she got all mopey about Ron. And fiercely smart woman though she may be, I’ve never identified her as a whole lot more than 1/2 of HP’s entourage. Whoops.

(I also have strong FEELINGS about J.K. Rowling as an author, but whatever.)

My favorite thing about Tiffany is that she is young. Her books take her from 9-15 years old and she actually acts like a young person, instead of the characters who fully mature almost overnight. Pratchett describes one moment where she gets so embarrassed that, years later, she would still cover her ears and say “Lalalala that never happened lalala” when the memory surfaced. I have some times like that from my childhood, I can relate.

If this were Tumblr, I would click “like” for this response. Since it’s not, I have to literally spell it out. ;)

Also, if I hadn’t been so tired last night, I likely would have gone on and on and on about how many different ways each of those characters are responsible for who I am today. A rambling post for another time, though.

Leave a Reply